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Nursing Connections, Building Your Better Career

If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, you should seriously consider nursing. Today, there are about 150,000 nursing jobs left vacant in the United States because of insufficient supply. The problem is only going to be more acute in the next decade or so when the figure of vacant nurse jobs can cross 800,000, which is quite a staggering problem.

A qualified nurse with a nursing education is definitely an asset for society. Scores of nursing vocations are usually advertised every day. Since the nursing profession is a highly skilled job, the vacancies cannot be filled by people without the necessary qualifications. The problem is compounded because not many students are thinking about pursuing a nursing career. A nursing career is truly rewarding and the various nursing programs offered by colleges and nursing schools across the US offer plenty of opportunities for aspiring nurses to enter the specialization of their choice. To access all types of nursing occupations, the first step is to enroll in a nursing program.

Basic Nursing Qualifications

There are plenty of offline and online nursing programs that are available for aspiring nurses. As a basic qualification, you must have a high school diploma or degree to be able to join a nursing program. You can also sit and qualify for the National League for Nursing Exam. In the US, there are two basic types of nurses, namely, a LPN and a RN. A LPN or a Licensed Practical Nurse is a nurse who has an associate degree in nursing from some college. On the other hand, a RN or a Registered Nurse is a nurse who has a more advanced qualification, which is a four-year program. Typically, a Registered Nurse is more advanced in knowledge than a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Education

Earlier, a lot of hospitals would offer a diploma in nursing where the training would be given on the job. Nowadays, the practice is somewhat limited because most of the nurses who are now coming through the college programs already have the diploma or the degree. College students who have already earned a degree can also opt for a nursing degree in an RN program or LPN program as per their choice. Degree holders can go through a shorter course which can be completed faster. In this way, the students do not have to go through a complete elaborate course to get the nursing degree. The LPN program usually takes about 1 year. After the completion of the program, they need to pass the NCLEX-PN test to get their license. To qualify as a RN, they need to sit and pass the NCLEX-RN test after completing their 4 years RN study.

Online LPN programs and online RN programs are programs which allow the aspiring RN or LPN to study from the comfort of the home. The student can study the course materials which are made available after the student enrolls in one of these programs. One of the major setbacks of these online programs is that there are many aspects of the nurse training which can best be learned in a real environment. Nevertheless, there are enough complementary materials on the Internet like human dissection videos, human anatomy animations, and the like, which can make it easier for the online nursing student. A good online program will cover aspects of nursing like anatomy, psychology, and even computer education where simulated environments will be created for an in-depth study. Apart from dealing with the diseases, the nurses are also trained to diagnose illnesses. A nurse is also a medium of communication between the doctor and the patient and the family members.

Salary

Nursing occupations are highly rewarding. Average starting salaries of nurses are among the highest in comparison to many professions in the US. The average starting salary for a Registered Nurse is in the region of $40,000 per annum. It needs to be mentioned that the duties and responsibilities of a nurse can be very tough. A nursing career demands a high level of focus, attention, presence of mind, and above all, an urge to help others in distress. A nurse can only succeed when he or she possesses these qualities, and more.

There are a lot of specializations in nursing which require specialized knowledge and training. Some of these include:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist administers general and local anesthesia when there is a surgery to be done. It’s one of the highest paid nursing jobs with an average salary of $150,000 per annum.

Nurse Researcher

The Nurse Researcher is a highly skilled professional who works on cutting edge research of medical problems and publishes research work in various medical journals. The Nurse Researcher also helps medical establishments to adopt the findings in their treatment methods.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

A Gerontological Nurse Practitioner deals with the care and treatment of older adult patients. They take care of all aspects of their treatment as well as chronic diseases and even support them mentally when necessary.

Neonatal Nurse

A neonatal nurse takes care of the infants as well as premature-born babies. It is a highly rewarding career because it’s always a joy to see these children become healthier. Some others specialize in the care of the sickly born.

Overview about Modern Nursing Jobs

Apart from the above, a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse can start their own business after completing a management course which means that the person can earn even more. Whatever the specialization, it demands a lot out of a nurse. There’s a preconceived notion about nursing to be mainly women in white aprons who are assisting doctors. Nurses are much more than that in the modern set up. They are more active in helping patients and administering critical care. As such, the nursing profession has expanded and the specializations have grown dramatically over the last few decades. The scope of a nurse has now encompassed a lot of areas and given rise to many areas of specialization.

To learn more about the nursing profession, check out these links.